About Obama’s “We Don’t Have a Strategy Yet” Statement; Don’t Fall for the Right’s Distortions

The rest of the story
Politics • Views: 48,695

Here we go again, folks; you can see it coming already. During his press conference today, President Obama talked at length about the need to develop a strong, comprehensive regional strategy with US allies and partners to address the threat of ISIL.

So what are the right wing blogs going to be screaming about? At one point, Obama said these words:

We don’t have a strategy yet.

This will be the right wing’s next “You didn’t build that” — a deliberately distorted, out of context deception to enrage their base. It’s starting already:

But here’s the transcript, and for the record, I’ll pull out everything else Obama said about developing a strategy. I don’t expect this to affect the coming right wing freak-out (they’re impervious to facts), but for the record:

ISIL poses an immediate threat to the people of Iraq and to people throughout the region, and that’s why our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader comprehensive strategy to protect our people and to support our partners who are taking the fight to ISIL, and that starts with Iraq’s leaders building on the progress that they’ve made so far and forming an inclusive government that will unite their country and strengthen their security forces to confront ISIL.

[…]

Any successful strategy, though, also needs strong regional partners. I’m encouraged so far that countries in the region, countries that don’t always agree on many things, increasingly recognize the primacy of the threat that ISIL poses to all of them. And I’ve asked Secretary Kerry to travel to the region to continue to build the coalition that’s needed to meet this threat.

[…]

As I’ve said, rooting out a cancer like ISIL will not be quick or easy, but I’m confident that we can and we will, working closely with our allies and our partners. For our part, I’ve directed Secretary Hagel and our Joint Chiefs of Staff to prepare a range of options. I’ll be meeting with my National Security Council again this evening as we continue to develop that strategy.

[…]

What is true, though, is that the violence that’s been taking place in Syria has obviously given ISIL a safe haven there in ungoverned spaces. And in order for us to degrade ISIL over the long term, we’re going to have to build a regional strategy. Now, we’re not going to do that alone.

[…]

But when we look at a broader strategy that is consistent with what I said at West Point, that’s consistent with what I said at the National Defense College, clearly ISIL has come to represent the very worst elements in the region that we have to deal with collectively. And that’s going to be a long-term project.

[…]

QUESTION: Do you need Congress’s approval to go into Syria?

OBAMA: You know, I have consulted with Congress throughout this process. I am confident that as commander in chief I have the authorities to engage in the acts that we are conducting currently. As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in and we’re — that our consultations with Congress continue to develop so that the American people are part of the debate.

But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet. I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are. And I think that’s not just my assessment, but the assessment of our military, as well. We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them. At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard.

[…]

Now as we go forward, as I’ve described to Chuck, and look at a broader regional strategy with an international coalition and partners to systematically degrade ISIL’s capacity to engage in the terrible violence and disruptions that they’ve been engaging in, not just in Syria, not just in Iraq but potentially elsewhere if we don’t nip this at the bud, then those consultations with Congress for something that is longer term I think become more relevant.

[…]

But, as I said to Chuck, I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. And in some of the media reports, the suggestion seems to have been that, you know, we’re about to go full scale on an elaborate strategy for defeating ISIL.

[…]

We are gonna work politically and diplomatically with folks in the region. And we’re gonna cobble together the kind of coalition that we need for a long-term strategy as soon as we are able to fit together the military, political and economic components of that strategy. There will be a military aspect to that. And it’s gonna be important for Congress to know what that is, in part because it may cost some money.

[…]

If those things are followed through on and we are able to combine it with a sound military strategy, then I think we can be successful. If we can’t, then the idea that the United States or any outside power would perpetually defeat ISIS I think is unrealistic.

There you have it. The right will have their very predictable freak-out session, but maybe some people will refer to this post for the rest of the story.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Sovereign Sex Offender Involved in Tense KCK Standoff Arrested by U.S. Marshals Another Sovereign Citizen standoff, The original standoff lasted for more than six hours outside of a home near 57th Street and Parallel Parkway. U.S. Marshals and KCKPD originally attempted to arrest Gregory Andrews on warrants including a parole violation ...
Thanos
9 hours, 13 minutes ago
Views: 163 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Hillary Clinton Denounces the ‘Alt-Right,’ and the Alt-Right Is Thrilled Mr. Trump has publicly kept his distance from the alt-right, but his critics have accused him of offering subtle cues to invite its support. His appointment of Stephen K. Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, to be chief executive ...
Thanos
18 hours, 28 minutes ago
Views: 193 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Tim Kaine Blasts Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies as the ‘Actions of an Idiot’ Tim Kaine didn’t hold back when asked about claims that Donald Trump is softening his stance on immigration. “I don’t buy it,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee told “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert on Thursday. “He’s always fighting ...
Thanos
18 hours, 37 minutes ago
Views: 283 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 27 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
Missouri ‘Witch Hunt Hearings’ Modeled on Anti-Choice Congressional Crusade - Rewire “They say that a lot in Missouri,” state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) told Rewire in an interview at the Democratic National Convention last month. Newman is a longtime abortion rights advocate who proposed legislation that would subject firearms purchases ...
Thanos
2 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 333 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Charter Schools: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO) Charter schools are privately run, publicly funded, and irregularly regulated. John Oliver explores why they aren’t at all like pizzerias. Connect with Last Week Tonight online...Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it ...
Thanos
2 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 322 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 25 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
Deadly Earthquake in Italy: What We Know – The 6.2. magnitude earthquake struck central Italy, near Rieti, shortly after 3:30 a.m. local time and was followed by several aftershocks. – At least 37 people have been killed and dozens are missing, according to Italy's civil protection ...
Thanos
2 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 275 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 7 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
EpiPen’s Steady Price Increases Masked Until Deductibles Rose The maker of the life-saving allergy shot EpiPen is the new poster child for exorbitant drug price increases, as high-profile members of Congress, doctors and consumers lash out over huge price increases since 2009. Mylan’s EpiPens are used to ...
Thanos
3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 321 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
Few Pastors Have Been Asked to Preside at Same-Sex Weddings - and No One Has Been Forced Americans United had a little fun about two months ago with the Religious Right’s claim that if marriage equality became the law of the land, pastors would be forced to preside at same-sex weddings. We produced a special website ...
Thanos
3 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 376 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 16 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
A Tribe Called Red - R.E.D. Ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear Pre-Order The Album! smarturl.itStream on Spotify: spoti.fi-Director: The Halluci NationLocation: Cape Town, SAActors: Narcy, Yasiin Bey and members of the Halluci NationProducer: The Halluci Nation--A Tribe Called Red Links:Website: atribecalledred.comTwitter: @atribecalledredFacebook: facebook.comInstagram: instagram.com--Yasiin Bey Links:acountrycalledearth.comFacebook: facebook.comTwitter: @CalledEarth--Narcy:wearethemedium.comFacebook: facebook.comTwitter: @TheNarcicyst ...
teleskiguy
4 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 513 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 9 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 6
Comments: 0
: 6
Melania Trump Threatens to Sue News Outlets Melania Trump has threatened to sue The Daily Mail, Politico and at least eight other news outlets for defamation, her lawyer says. Trump, the wife of the Republican presidential nominee, has placed The Daily Mail and other news organizations ...
Thanos
4 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 700 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 42 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 4
Comments: 0
: 4